Monday night’s Australian Story features swimmer Meagen Nay, who has overcome some major personal challenges to win dual gold medals in Delhi.
“I did think about giving up; I wanted to quit. I just didn’t think I could emotionally and mentally go back from there.” – Meagen Nay.
In April this year, swimming champion Meagen Nay admitted to Australian Story that the past twelve months had been the toughest of her life… and at times she considered giving swimming away altogether.
Two years ago, Meagen was on the crest of a wave. At the Olympic trials in 2008 she broke the 16 year old Australian record for 200 metre backstroke and went on to compete in the finals at the Beijing Olympics – where she became the first Australian female swimmer to follow in her father’s Olympic footsteps. Her father Robbie Nay swam at the Munich Olympics and won gold at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch.
Great expectations were held for Meagen at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, after an explosive performance at the event trials. But just weeks later, the international swimming fraternity watched anxiously to determine whether she would even be capable of mounting the starting blocks.
Meagen’s well-known determination and mental discipline were put to the supreme test when, in a cruel twist of fate only hours before she was due to compete, her only brother, Amos, was killed in eerily similar circumstances to those in which she lost her father when she was a child.
While the swimming community mourned alongside her, Meagen focused her grief on a return to the pool.
Now, only moments since her success at Delhi 2010, Meagan explains how she reignited her passion following such profound loss, to win gold on her 22nd Birthday in the very same event as her father years before (200m freestyle medley) and later, another gold and the world number two ranking in her pet event, the 200m back stroke.
It airs 8pm Monday on ABC1.